As U.S. Election Nears, Polling Shows 82 Percent of Voters Support 100 Percent Clean Energy Transition
By Jessica Corbett
With an estimated 66 million ballots already cast and only a week to go until Election Day, new polling released Tuesday shows the vast majority of U.S. voters believe the nation should be prioritizing a transition to 100% clean energy and support legislation to decarbonize the economy over the next few decades.
Climate Nexus, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication surveyed over 2,000 registered voters online in late September and early October. The poll's margin of error is plus/minus 2.2% at the 95% confidence level.
Pollsters found that 82% of voters somewhat (33%) or strongly (49%) agree that "the primary goal of U.S. energy policy should be achieving 100% clean energy."
Respondents were also asked to weigh in on legislation introduced in Congress "that would set the goal of achieving a 100% clean economy (eliminating fossil fuel emissions from the transportation, electricity, buildings, industry, and agricultural sectors) in the United States by the year 2050."
Over seven in 10 said they somewhat (31%) or strongly (40%) support such legislation—the same total percentage who said they somewhat (32%) or strongly (39%) support "requiring electric utility companies in the United States to generate 100% of their electricity from renewable sources, like wind and solar, by the year 2035."
"The conventional wisdom has clearly changed," Anthony Leiserowitz, director of Yale's program, said in a statement about the survey results Tuesday. "Voters strongly support a national transition from dependence on coal, oil, and gas to renewable sources like solar and wind."
The poll shows majorities of voters believe that transitioning to a 100% clean energy economy would positively impact jobs and economic growth, energy bills, rural and farming communities in their state, and communities of color in their state.
A majority of respondents (62%) also said they would be more likely to or would only vote for a candidate who supports "providing a multi-trillion-dollar federal economic stimulus that prioritizes investments in clean energy infrastructure."
Biden should get "uncontrolled climate change would cost $486 trillion" tattooed on his forehead imo https://t.co/nTbVdHa9gD— Emily Atkin (@Emily Atkin)1603805027.0
While support for hydraulic fracturing to increase production of natural gas and oil in the U.S. was split, 61% said there needs to be more regulation of fracking and 80% somewhat or strongly support requiring energy companies to install technology to reduce leaks of the potent greenhouse gas methane.
When presented with two statements about natural gas, the majority of voters reiterated that they believe the U.S. should reduce the use of fossil fuels :
"The natural gas industry has spent decades convincing people their product is clean energy, and voters have believed them," said Edward Maibach, director of George Mason's center. "But we now know alarming spikes of methane emissions—caused in part by gas production—are making global warming worse. The public is beginning to catch on to the threat."
Nearly three-quarters (74%) of the poll's respondents somewhat or strongly support creating a jobs program for currently unemployed fossil fuel workers to safely close down tens of thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells that cause water and methane pollution; the same total percentage believe dirty energy companies should be required to cover at least some of the costs.
The new survey echoes polling results released last week following the final debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. After Biden said that he would phase out the U.S. oil industry in a shift toward clean energy, a Morning Consult/Politico poll found that 57% of voters support a "concerted oil-to-renewables transition," with even greater support among Democrats.
Referencing those findings on Tuesday, Our Daily Planet detailed "why this matters":
As Election Day draws near, new polls by Pew Research found that 68% of registered voters consider climate change to be a "very important" or "somewhat" important issue. Many experts (and even some coal workers) agree that investing in renewable energy will help create jobs and boost the economy. Renewable energy is more economically viable than ever and voters support it. Moderate Dems may have been nervous that Republicans will try to skewer Biden over this remark, but these polls suggest that might not work. The question will be whether it flips any voters in a crucial swing state. Only time will tell.
In response to the fossil fuel discussion at last week's debate, 350 Action North America director Tamara Toles O'Laughlin said in a statement that climate is a top issue for voters and "Biden demonstrated the capacity for leadership our country needs and deserves, including tackling the climate crisis at scale."
"While we may not always agree with his approach, we can see his willingness to listen, proven by a commitment to ending federal subsidies to the oil industry, and we look forward to finding solutions and common ground," she added. "On the other hand, we have Donald Trump, unhinged and desperate, flailing about, spewing a combination of lies and hateful rhetoric at every turn."
350 Action is among the climate advocacy groups that have endorsed Biden. The Democrat has also won the backing of various climate scientists as well as the first-ever endorsement from the editors at Scientific American, who warned last month that "the 2020 election is literally a matter of life and death."
Reposted with permission from Common Dreams.
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By Gwen Ranniger
In the midst of a pandemic, sales of cleaning products have skyrocketed, and many feel a need to clean more often. Knowing what to look for when purchasing cleaning supplies can help prevent unwanted and dangerous toxics from entering your home.
1. Fragrance – Avoid It<p>One of the fastest ways to narrow down your product options is immediately eliminating any product that promotes a fragrance, or parfum. That scent of "fresh breeze" or lemon might initially smell good, but the fragrance does not last. What does last? The concoction of various undisclosed and unregulated chemicals that created that fragrance.</p><p>Many fragrances contain phthalates, which are linked to many health risks including reproductive problems and cancer.</p>
2. With Bleach? Do Without<p>Going scent-free should have narrowed down your options substantially – now, check the front of the remaining packaging. Any that include ammonia or chlorine bleach ought to go, as these substances are irritating and corrosive to your body. While bleach is commonly known as a powerful disinfectant, there are safer alternatives that you can use in your home, such as sodium borate or hydrogen peroxide.</p><p>While you're at it, check if there are any warnings on the label – "flammable," "use in ventilated area," etc. – if the product is hazardous, that's a red flag and should be avoided.</p>
3. Check the Back Label<p>Flip to the back of the remaining contenders and check out that ingredient list. Less is more, here. Opt for a shorter ingredient list with words you recognize and/or can pronounce.</p><p>You may notice many products do not have ingredient lists – while this doesn't necessarily mean they contain toxic ingredients, transparency is key. Feel free to look up a list online, or stick to products that are open about their ingredients.</p>
4. Ingredients to Avoid<p>We already mentioned that cleaners containing fragrance or parfum, and bleach or ammonia should be avoided, but there are other ingredients to look out for as well.</p><ul><li>Quaternary ammonium "quats" – lung irritants that contribute to asthma and other breathing problems. Also linger on surfaces long after they've been cleaned.</li><li>Parabens – Known hormone disruptor; can contribute to ailments such as cancer</li><li>Triclosan – triclosan and other antibacterial chemicals are registered with the EPA as pesticides. Triclosan is a known hormone disruptor and can also impact your immune system.</li><li>Formaldehyde – Causes irritation of eyes, nose, and throat; studies suggest formaldehyde exposure is linked with certain varieties of cancer. Can be found in products or become a byproduct of chemical reactions in the air.</li></ul>
Cleaning Products and Toxics: The Bottom Line<p>Do your research. There are many cleaning products available, but taking these steps will drastically reduce your options and help keep your home toxic-free. Protecting your home from bacteria and viruses is important, but make sure you do so in a way that doesn't introduce other health risks into the home.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://www.ehn.org/how-to-shop-for-cleaning-products-while-avoiding-toxics-2648130273.html" target="_blank">Environmental Health News</a>. </em><a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/r/entryeditor/2649054624#/" target="_self"></a></p>
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Twenty-five years ago, a food called Tofurky made its debut on grocery store shelves. Since then, the tofu-based roast has become a beloved part of many vegetarians' holiday feasts.
By Jessica Corbett
A leading environmental advocacy group marked Native American Heritage Month on Wednesday by urging President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Kamala Harris, and the entire incoming administration "to honor Indigenous sovereignty and immediately halt the Keystone XL, Dakota Access, and Line 3 pipelines."
- Climate Crisis: What We Can Learn From Indigenous Traditions ... ›
- 10 Organizations Honoring Native People on Thanksgiving ... ›
- Biden Vows to Ax Keystone XL if Elected - EcoWatch ›
Returning the ‘Three Sisters’ – Corn, Beans and Squash – to Native American Farms Nourishes People, Land and Cultures
By Christina Gish Hill
Historians know that turkey and corn were part of the first Thanksgiving, when Wampanoag peoples shared a harvest meal with the pilgrims of Plymouth plantation in Massachusetts. And traditional Native American farming practices tell us that squash and beans likely were part of that 1621 dinner too.
Abundant Harvests<p>Historically, Native people throughout the Americas bred indigenous plant varieties specific to the growing conditions of their homelands. They selected seeds for many different traits, such as <a href="https://emergencemagazine.org/story/corn-tastes-better/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">flavor, texture and color</a>.</p><p>Native growers knew that planting corn, beans, squash and sunflowers together produced mutual benefits. Corn stalks created a trellis for beans to climb, and beans' twining vines secured the corn in high winds. They also certainly observed that corn and bean plants growing together tended to be healthier than when raised separately. Today we know the reason: Bacteria living on bean plant roots pull nitrogen – an essential plant nutrient – from the air and <a href="http://www.tilthalliance.org/learn/resources-1/almanac/october/octobermngg" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">convert it to a form that both beans and corn can use</a>.</p><p>Squash plants contributed by shading the ground with their broad leaves, preventing weeds from growing and retaining water in the soil. Heritage squash varieties also had spines that discouraged deer and raccoons from visiting the garden for a snack. And sunflowers planted around the edges of the garden created a natural fence, protecting other plants from wind and animals and attracting pollinators.</p><p>Interplanting these agricultural sisters produced bountiful harvests that sustained large Native communities and <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/eam.2015.0016" target="_blank">spurred fruitful trade economies</a>. The first Europeans who reached the Americas were shocked at the abundant food crops they found. My research is exploring how, 200 years ago, Native American agriculturalists around the Great Lakes and along the Missouri and Red rivers fed fur traders with their diverse vegetable products.</p>
Displaced From the Land<p>As Euro-Americans settled permanently on the most fertile North American lands and acquired seeds that Native growers had carefully bred, they imposed policies that <a href="https://doi.org/10.1086/ahr/87.2.550" target="_blank">made Native farming practices impossible</a>. In 1830 President Andrew Jackson signed the <a href="https://guides.loc.gov/indian-removal-act" target="_blank">Indian Removal Act</a>, which made it official U.S. policy to force Native peoples from their home locations, pushing them onto subpar lands.</p><p>On reservations, U.S. government officials discouraged Native women from cultivating anything larger than small garden plots and pressured Native men to practice Euro-American style monoculture. Allotment policies assigned small plots to nuclear families, further limiting Native Americans' access to land and preventing them from using communal farming practices.</p><p>Native children were forced to attend boarding schools, where they had no opportunity to <a href="https://doi.org/10.5749/jamerindieduc.57.1.0145" target="_blank">learn Native agriculture techniques or preservation and preparation of Indigenous foods</a>. Instead they were forced to eat Western foods, turning their palates away from their traditional preferences. Taken together, these policies <a href="https://kansaspress.ku.edu/978-0-7006-0802-7.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">almost entirely eradicated three sisters agriculture</a> from Native communities in the Midwest by the 1930s.</p>
Reviving Native Agriculture<p>Today Native people all over the U.S. are working diligently to <a href="https://www.oupress.com/books/15107980/indigenous-food-sovereignty-in-the-united-sta" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">reclaim Indigenous varieties of corn, beans, squash, sunflowers and other crops</a>. This effort is important for many reasons.</p><p>Improving Native people's access to healthy, culturally appropriate foods will help lower rates of <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/aian-diabetes/index.html" target="_blank">diabetes</a> and <a href="https://www.apa.org/pi/oema/resources/ethnicity-health/native-american/obesity" target="_blank">obesity</a>, which affect Native Americans at disproportionately high rates. Sharing traditional knowledge about agriculture is a way for elders to pass cultural information along to younger generations. Indigenous growing techniques also protect the lands that Native nations now inhabit, and can potentially benefit the wider ecosystems around them.</p>
By Jake Johnson
Amid reports that oil industry-friendly former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz remains under consideration to return to his old post in the incoming Biden administration, a diverse coalition of environmental groups is mobilizing for an "all-out push" to keep Moniz away from the White House and demand a cabinet willing to boldly confront the corporations responsible for the climate emergency.